ONE OF THE OLD EMIRATE HOTELS LE MERIDIEN ABU DHABI RECENTLY HAVE MARKED ITS 35TH ANNIVERSARY. A PHOTO EXHIBITION HAS BEEN CONFIGURED TO A MUCH DATE, WHICH IT WAS POSSIBLE TO GIVE A TITLE "YOU REMEMBER HOW IT ALL BEGINS".
Hotel Le Meridien Abu Dhabi "lived" with the emirate capital of all recent history and, one might say, became its custodian. Built in 1979 in the area of the so-called Tourist Club - the largest recreation area at that time with an ice rink, tennis courts and a bowling club, she remembers the most important people and the most famous names - both royal people and rock and roll stars . In the early 70s, the only hotel chain represented in the capital was Hilton. Le Meridien, on the other hand, was originally conceived as an Air France pilot base, capable of providing comfort away from home, as well as a hotel for accommodating passengers arriving and in transit.
The agreement on the construction of the first hotel with a French accent was signed by the Abu Dhabi authorities back in 1975. It was planned to open it a little earlier than 1979, however, a strike was prevented by cement manufacturers who saw a threat to their business in using stainless steel for edging the walls of the building.
The construction was completed in February 1979, just during the tour of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who arrived "to the ball" from the side of the royal yacht Britannia. Only a month has passed since the start of the Islamic revolution in Iran, so the visit of the monarchs to the Gulf region and their meeting with Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the Emirates, became a real sensation, which all world newspapers and television channels spoke about.
In March of the same year, Sheikh Zayed invited to stay at the hotel of Valerie Giscard d "Estena, the twentieth president of France. Then came the visits of the Belgian prince Albert II, the" Iron Lady "Margaret Thatcher, King of Spain Juan Carlos I, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and leaders Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal, and each of them left warm reviews and wishes in the book of memory. The hotel, I must say, was quickly chosen by ordinary mortals: the annals of Le Meridien Abu Dhabi contain the names of those who returned to their favorite hotel for 30 years old. eating and those who work in it from the first day and still remembers the solemn meeting of Air France pilots at the airport "Al Bateen" - it was he who in the late 70s was the main air harbor of Abu Dhabi.
Today, Le Meridien Abu Dhabi, of course, has already lost its status - five stars on the facade faded. VIP guests prefer to stay in other hotels. However, he retained his charm and charm. Therefore, even the talk about the possible demolition of the legend hotel, related to the need to build new bridges, which began back in 2005, was a real shock to many old-timers in the capital. While the oldest Le Meridien holds the defense and even moderately repaired every year.